A/N: This takes place some time before season two, I guess - no spoilers. Thanks to Tori for editing! :)

Disclaimer: I don't own Fringe.


An addiction to hands and feet
there's a meat market down the street
the boys and girls watch each other eat
when they really just wanna watch each other sleep

- Regina Spektor


"You like him, don't you?"

A slightly begrudging half-statement.

Charlie Francis, loyal partner, does not want her to be hurt again, and all the signs are pointing toward Destruction Junction, haplessly labeled as Innocence Crossing. He can tell she has something in store. But whether or not she can foresee the glaringly obvious, he doesn't know. It would be for her own good if he cautioned against such danger, but the chances of her heeding his advice are slim to none.

She gave him one of her patented glossed-over smiles. "No, I don't."

-

"You like him, don't you?"

A sweet observation.

Astrid Farnsworth has never been able to mind her own business, but as self-proclaimed lab-mother she feels she can comment. She's rooting for these two – maybe not romantically, but in general. She hopes that they just make it through these crazy times. What they might not realize is that they need each other to do that. So yeah, Astrid's pushing them in the right direction.

In reply she gave the younger agent a surprisingly articulate eye-roll and added, "No, I don't."

-

"You like him, don't you?"

An accusation. A sign of weakness.

Phillip Broyles knows that he's coming off as kind of a hard-ass, but he watched this agent get destroyed once before. And in this day and age he's all for being happy now, while you can, but selfishly the boss thinks he doesn't really want that to apply to his people. They need to work. They need their feet planted firmly on the ground. He needs her—them—to be focused.

She puts on her professional face and introduces him to certainty. "No, I don't."

-

"You like him, don't you?"

This is made into a "duh" statement.

Rachel is not jealous.

Olivia laughs it off. "No, I don't."

-

"You like me, don't you?"

A coaxing, teasing little waif.

It floats out there beautifully. Peter Bishop doesn't mean to ask, so he pretends that he's joking and that curiosity has nothing to do with it. Besides, it's after hours. Any answer she gives now, true or false, is unacceptable—and all the more precious.

If only she hadn't decided to confuse him.

She leans in, not letting his rigidity censor her. She can see that he's worried, wary, surprised. She moves close enough that if he were to open his mouth the essence of her would flow right in.

In one liquid motion, she claims his lips, two crashing waves. It doesn't last nearly long enough, because after what seems like two seconds she's letting go, hopping off her perch and tossing this little nugget over her shoulder: "No, I don't."

-

"You like him, don't you?"

A gift, an introduction to the cool air.

Olivia Dunham doesn't know if it was okay to do that. But a twelve-second examination of her life tells her that she doesn't have much of one left. She might as well fill it with something.

"Yeah, maybe."